I used to be a moderate who would speak for the G sometimes when there were PAP gaffes, because there are people I respect working their arses off on real issues under the ministries and the GICs. I also dislike how some far-left oppos quoted politicians out of context and offered populist, non-methodological solutions to problems. I have no love for politicians who blow hot air on both sides though.
But recent events got me rethinking my stand. The reserved presidential election was such a protracted wayang from the day they came up with the idea (and with little resistance in parliament), and the recent Oxley parliamentary session was a complete farce that answered no pertinent question. They’ve reverted somewhat to the govt-knows-best-you-plebs-should-trust-us attitude prior to 2011 elections, which is troubling.
The govt, the co-opted elites and the grassroots businessmen have amassed so much power and established networks in all sectors. Any criticism or recommendation that threatens the legitimacy of govt policies usually leads nowhere, as they dismiss or discredit the ‘naysayers’ with lightning speed (a list of local academics). No one within the system will rock the boat as long as it’s still sailing. I understand that G should have leeway to avoid too much red tape, but they really need to address such concerns more convincingly. The presidential role should have been a safeguard (ha) to the opaque management of our sovereign wealth funds and it should ideally go to someone with strong trade and finance background, race and gender affirmative considerations should never be a priority..
In Halimah’s case, she could have at least acknowledged the unhappy ground (or is it only online) sentiments on the election, instead of dismissing them totally. That would have greatly improved my impression of her. I also don’t get why they find it so hard to straight up admit party misjudgements (900k trash bins to match civic district aesthetics lol) but always try to deflect responsibility for their failings (be it for the inherited train delay issues or a mere printing error) to poor execution or unforseen external factors. They are not LKY, and no one expects them to be. They don’t need to pretend to be chest-thumping strongmen to be good leaders. They don’t need to speak with One Voice lah, govts of this age shouldn’t be so monolithic.
We allowed them to become what it is today though. I don’t know why I’m complaining. I should get back to work.